All Science on Tap events take place at 6pm the second Monday of the month at National Mechanics, 22 S. 3rd St., Philadelphia, PA 19106, unless otherwise stated. Be sure to arrive early to get seats!

November 14, 2016

The Man Who Forged Benjamin Franklin:
A Tale of Ingenuity and Ink

benjamin-franklin-s-signature-7896177Joseph Cosey, an Irish-American from the Depression Era, has the dubious distinction of being the most successful and prolific forger in U.S. history. While most perpetrators struggle to duplicate the signatures of one or two individuals, Cosey mastered the handwriting styles of virtually all the nation’s founders, a score of latter-day statesmen, and a number of prominent writers—both male and female. A “printer’s devil” apprentice in his youth, Cosey success stemmed from his understanding of the delicate relationship of paper and ink. Cosey’s criminal career began…and ironically ended…with forgeries of Benjamin Franklin.

lynne-friedmann-hi-res-imageAbout the Speaker: Lynne Friedmann is an award-winning freelance science writer with 30 years of  experience interpreting scientific discoveries and technological advances for the general public. She has written about topics ranging from astrophysics to zoology for newspapers, consumer magazines, trade publications, and institutions such as the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering, The San Diego Zoo, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, San Diego Supercomputer Center, and American Chemical Society among others. She is currently a Beckman Fellow of the Chemical Heritage Foundation conducting archival research for a book on the history and science of ink.

This month’s Science on Tap is hosted by the Chemical Heritage Foundation.

Check out our past topics here.